Hyderabad-based vernacular short news app, Way2News, has raised about Rs 130 crore or $16.75 million as part of its Series-A round from investors WestBridge Capital and venture capitalist Sashi Reddy. The investment marks the entry of WestBridge Capital’s debut in the media and entertainment sector in India.
The company now plans to expand its base in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala. Flush with funds, the company will be hiring teams in editorial, sales, and marketing and scale up with AI-based technology to minimize human intervention in delivering news.
According to founder, CEO Raju Vanapala, Way2News is enabling users to find news from small towns and villages while ensuring depth of coverage. “Our mobile-first, crowd-sourced news platform, couple with AI-based quality checks, is sustainable.“
The user acquisition approach, engagement, and retention rates are unique, says Sumir Chadha, co-founder and managing director at WestBridge Capital.
Way2News was founded in 2016 and provided short news updates. The media outfit allows verified stringers to write and contribute regularly. As of now, 30,000 people have contributed 5000 stories from 23 districts of AP and Telangana.